Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
He is a man; do not rejoice in his fall. He is your brother; let not your heart leap for joy when he stumbles. God created him for life, and God does not rejocie in his fall. And you also, do not rejoice at that which grieves God. When a man falls, God loses; do you rejoice in the loss of your Creator, of your Parent? When the angels weep, do you rejoice?
When your enemy falls, pray to God for him, that God will save him; and give thanks to God that you did not fall in the same manner. You are of the same material, both you and he; like two vessels from the hand of the potter. If one vessel breaks, should the other one smile and rejoice? Behold, the small stone that broke that vessel only waits for someone's hand to raise it to destroy this vessel also. Both vessels are of the same material, and a small stone can destroy a hundred vessels.
When one sheep is lost, should the rest of the flock rejoice? No, they should not. For behold, the shepherd leavs his flock and, being concerned, goes to seek the lost sheep. The shepherd's loss is the flock's loss, too. Therefore, do not rejoice when you enemy falls, for your Shepherd and his Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, do not rejoice in his fall.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Good Shepherd, remove malicious joy from our hearts, and in its place plant compassion and brotherly love.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Every time someone bothers you, pray,
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
His Grace has been gifted with the talent of revealing precious truths—about theology, about the lives of Saints, about virtue in its many forms through rhyming verse. He has a number of books of poetry available on Amazon.com (search under Bishop Paul of Tracheia). His humble disposition doesn’t allow himself to draw attention to his works. However, having read many of them myself, I am routinely in awe of some of the amazing writing he has done. His books contain poems and stories, some quite lengthy, all rhythmic compositions that proclaim beautiful truths. I like to refer to his style of writing as “holy rhyme.” His is an unique ministry, it’s my hope that readers here might take note of this and partake of the loveliness of his spiritual offerings. Pres. C.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
When love has entirely cast out fear, and fear has been transformed into love, then the unity brought us by our Savior will be fully realized, for all men will be united with one another through their union with the one supreme Good. They will possess the perfection ascribed to the dove, according to our interpretation of the text: One alone is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only child of her mother, her chosen one.
Our Lord’s words in the Gospel bring out the meaning of this text more clearly. After having conferred all power on His disciples by His blessing, He obtained many other gifts for them by His prayer to the Father. Among these was included the greatest gift of all, which was that they were no longer to be divided in their judgement of what was right and good, for they were all to be united to the one supreme Good. As the Apostle says, they were to be bound together with the bonds of peace in the unity that comes from the Holy Spirit. They were to be made one body and one spirit by the one hope to which they were all called. We shall do better, however, to quote the sacred words of the Gospel itself. I pray, the Lord says, that they all may be one; that as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, so they also may be one in us.
Now the bond that creates this unity is glory. That the Holy Spirit is called glory no one can deny if he thinks carefully about the Lord’s words: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them. In fact, He gave this glory to His disciples when He said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit. Although He had always possessed it, even before the world existed, He Himself received this glory when He put on human nature. Then, when His human nature had been glorified by the Spirit, the glory of the Spirit was passed on to all His kin, beginning with His disciples. This is why He said: The glory you gave to me, I have given to them, so that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, I want them to be perfectly one.
Whoever has grown from infancy to manhood and attained to spiritual maturity possesses the mastery of his passions and the purity that makes it possible for him to receive the glory of the Spirit. He is that perfect dove upon whom the eyes of the bridegroom rest when he says, One alone is my dove, my perfect one.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
He had promised through the prophets that in these last days he would pour out His Spirit on His servants and handmaids, and that they would prophesy. So when the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon Him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God’s creation. The Spirit accomplished the Father’s will in men who had grown old in sin, and gave them new life in Christ.
Luke says that the Spirit came down on the disciples at Pentecost, after the Lord’s Ascension, with power to open the gates of life to all nations and to make known to them the new covenant. So it was that men of every language joined in singing one song of praise to God, and scattered tribes, restored to unity by the Spirit, were offered to the Father as the first-fruits of all the nations.
This was why the Lord had promised to send the Advocate: He was to prepare us as an offering to God. Like dry flour, which cannot become one lump of dough, one loaf of broad, without moisture, we who are many could not become one in Christ Jesus without the water that comes down from heaven. And like parched ground, which yields no harvest unless it receives moisture, we who were once like a waterless tree could never have lived and borne fruit without this abundant rainfall from above. Through the baptism that liberates us from change and decay we have become one in body; through the Spirit we have become one in soul.
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of God came down upon the Lord, and the Lord in turn gave this Spirit to His Church, sending the Advocate from heaven into all the world into which, according to His own words, the devil too had been cast down like lightning.
If we are not to be scorched and made unfruitful, we need the dew of God. Since we have our accuser, we need an advocate as well. And so the Lord in His pity for man, who had fallen into the hands of brigands, having Himself bound up his wounds and left for his care two coins bearing the royal image, entrusted him to the Holy Spirit. Now, through the Spirit, the image and inscription of the Father and the Son have been given to us, and it is our duty to use the coin committed to our charge and make it yield a rich profit for the Lord. Excerpted from St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies